As retailers come under fire for scheduling their employees for fluctuating work shifts, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has taken the lead in mandating schedule certainty.
On Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to enact a so-called Retail Workers Bill of Rights ordinance that would make San Francisco the first jurisdiction in the nation to address retail employee schedule unpredictability by requiring retailers to post work schedules 14 days in advance, and compensate workers for schedule changes or cancellations made with fewer than seven days notice and for unused on-call shifts. In addition, the ordinance orders retailers to give part-time workers the same starting rate of hourly pay, access to time off and promotion eligibility as their full-time counterparts.
The ordinance only applies to chain retailers with 20 or more employees and at least 20 locations in San Francisco. It is estimated the legislation could impact around 5 percent of the city’s workforce, or roughly 35,000 people employed at 1,250 establishments. The ordinance is scheduled for a second vote of the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 25 before it will be passed to the desk of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who is expected to veto it. The supervisors need eight votes in favor of the ordinance – they got 10 on Tuesday – to override a veto. “We are confident that the Board of Supervisors will vote to override the veto,” said Gordon Mar, executive director of Jobs With Justice San Francisco, a group that supports the ordinance.